The Importance of Improving Efficiency And Value in Health Care

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Healthcare organizations must be efficient to provide the highest level of care. Efficiency impacts patient satisfaction, healthcare costs, and outcomes. Sadly, efficiency analyses show up to 40 percent of organizational resources in the industry are wasted. Reducing this waste must be a priority. Technology is one way to become more efficient and add value to healthcare. 

The Importance of Efficiency

Efficient operations lead to lower healthcare expenditures. The funds recouped by eliminating waste can be used to make access to healthcare more affordable. An efficient system encourages communication among medical teams, which helps ensure consistent and accurate care. The same system allows providers to monitor and update electronic health records. How can a healthcare organization become more efficient without hiring healthcare providers

Staff Considerations

Staff members must work together to improve patient care. They need to communicate regularly so everyone is on the same page, and all workers must be adequately trained to handle their tasks. When they understand what to do and how to do it, they become more productive and waste less time. 

Every organization needs a set communication strategy. This strategy will ensure all calls are routed to the right person and that all team members remain in contact to provide optimal care. Patients should never be passed from person to person to have a question answered or a concern addressed. 

Group Meetings

Daily group meetings greatly benefit staff members, yet many healthcare organizations don’t hold them. These meetings allow a team to share patient information, discuss questions and concerns, and connect. When information is shared in these meetings, healthcare workers can take action before patients arrive. Treatment becomes more efficient, which patients appreciate. 

Cross-Training

Cross-training employees makes any organization more efficient. In addition, training needs to be ongoing. Business owners should not assume they can let this slide to save time and money. Best practices and technology are constantly evolving, and staff members must be aware of these innovations to provide the best care and find ways to improve the organization. 

Employees should be familiar with office policies and state laws. Goal-oriented training and new technology training are beneficial. Organizations that prioritize employee training find efficiency increases. 

Patient Wait Time

Every healthcare organization needs to be efficient regarding patient wait time. Patients who aren’t forced to wait are more satisfied. Organizations can reduce patient wait time by offering virtual check-ins and digital forms. Patients may handle these tasks from the comfort of their homes and spend less time in the office filling out paperwork. 

Allow them to schedule appointments online and provide them with a patient-provider portal so they can see their health records and communicate with the medical team. Digital workflows ensure the portal remains updated. 

Implement a no-show and late patient policy so those who arrive on time aren’t forced to wait. Provide a mobile queue, so patients know how long they may need to wait and give them an option for telehealth visits when appropriate. 

Phone Systems

Workers and patients both appreciate phone systems that direct patients to the appropriate person within an organization. Many healthcare providers today incorporate interactive voice response systems into their phone systems. These systems provide patients with self-serve alternatives so they don’t need to wait on hold and offer hints and tips from which patients may benefit. 

Appointment Reminders and Confirmations

Efficiency decreases when patients arrive late to appointments or miss them entirely. However, staff members don’t have time to call and remind patients when they have an appointment. Automatic reminders benefit patients and healthcare organizations by improving attendance rates.

Efficiency is essential in healthcare. It adds value to the industry by improving patient outcomes, increasing customer satisfaction, and more. Find one area where efficiency can be improved and focus on that. Once improvement is seen, move on to another area. Soon, the organization will run more smoothly, and everyone will be happier.